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Keep selection process objective to ensure bias-Free hiring

Human factors sometimes cloud the judgment of hiring managers—and could end up costing an organization if it finds itself on the losing end of a failure-to-hire lawsuit. That’s why it’s crucial to institute checks that prevent a hiring committee or manager from imposing subjective criteria on applicants …

Make and keep interview notes to prove promotion process wasn’t discriminatory

Employers that lean heavily on interviews to decide which of two equally qualified candidates to promote should make sure they can later explain the selection process. That means asking participants in panel interviews to take and collect notes on what the interviews covered and how well the candidates did …

Feel free to expand candidate search even if your policy favors hiring from within

If, like many companies, you have a policy that encourages promotion from within, you may hesitate to look outside for additional candidates. Fear of a lawsuit might make you especially reluctant if one of the few internal candidates belongs to a protected class. As the following case shows, those fears are unfounded …

Explain work schedule during interview, not after hiring

Does your organization operate on shifts or have unusual work hours? If so, it’s fair to both job applicants and the organization to be ultra-clear about what hours new hires should expect to work. The best approach is to ask about work availability up front—right on the application …

Beware anti-Labor comments if taking over unionized operation

When W&M Properties took over management of an office complex, it immediately set about changing the staffing model under which building engineers would work. Managers began interviewing the seven incumbent engineers for positions under the new structure as well as outside, nonunion candidates. At some point during the interviews, a hiring manager let it be known that the company did not want a unionized work force …

Do promotion criteria rely on company or job seniority?

If your organization uses seniority as a factor in making promotion decisions, make sure you think through what sort of seniority you really want to use—company seniority or job seniority. Make sure managers and employees alike understand which type of seniority counts for promotions …

Check for not so obvious patterns of race discrimination

Lots of employees try to blame lost jobs or promotions on discrimination. To do so, they assign themselves into protected classes that may not seem at all obvious. For example, a black employee who obviously hasn’t been discriminated against because he is black may add national origin to the mix …

Warn hiring managers: No reference to age allowed


It seems like such a simple rule. Never comment on an applicant’s age or other protected characteristics. Remind managers it takes just one stupid comment to provoke a lawsuit. Emphasize that refusing to interview a qualified candidate because of a stated prejudice almost automatically qualifies as an adverse employment action. That makes it almost certain you will lose.

Setting skill and experience minimums can stop lawsuits

When it comes to hiring and promotion, one of the best things you can do to protect your organization from lawsuits is to clearly explain the qualifications and experience needed before you schedule an interview with a candidate …

Paying candidates for interviews: Folly or the future?


In many cases, the best candidates for your job openings aren’t in the job market. They’re happily employed elsewhere, and they need a major incentive to show up at your door for an interview. A new start-up job board intends to create that incentive …